The Health Effects of Medicare for the Near-Elderly Uninsured

48 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2006 Last revised: 9 Sep 2010

See all articles by Daniel Polsky

Daniel Polsky

Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University; Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Jalpa Doshi

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine

Jose Escarce

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - RAND Health Sciences Program; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Willard G. Manning

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Susan Paddock

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - RAND Health Sciences Program

Liyi Cen

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine

Jeannette A. Rogowski

University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) - School of Public Health; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2006

Abstract

We study how the trajectory of health for the near-elderly uninsured changes upon enrolling into Medicare at the age of 65. We find that Medicare increases the probability of the previously uninsured having excellent or very good health, decreases their probability of being in good health, and has no discernable effects at lower health levels. Surprisingly, we found Medicare had a similar effect on health for the previously insured. This suggests that Medicare helps the relatively healthy 65 year olds, but does little for those who are already in declining health once they reach the age of 65. The improvement in health between the uninsured and insured were not statistically different from each other. The stability of insurance coverage afforded by Medicare may be the source of the health benefit suggesting that universal coverage at other ages may have similar health effects.

Suggested Citation

Polsky, Daniel and Doshi, Jalpa and Escarce, José and Manning, Willard G. and Paddock, Susan M. and Cen, Liyi and Rogowski, Jeannette A., The Health Effects of Medicare for the Near-Elderly Uninsured (September 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12511, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=930330

Daniel Polsky

Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University ( email )

624 North Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Jalpa Doshi

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine ( email )

423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

José Escarce (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - RAND Health Sciences Program ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States
310-794-3842 (Phone)
310-794-0726 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Willard G. Manning

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
(773) 834-1971 (Phone)
(773) 702-1979 (Fax)

Susan M. Paddock

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - RAND Health Sciences Program ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Liyi Cen

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine ( email )

423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Jeannette A. Rogowski

University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) - School of Public Health ( email )

Department of Health Systems and Policy
335 George Street, Suite 2200
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
United States
732-235-9759 (Phone)
732-235-9780 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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